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GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: Rebels widely believed to be backed by Rwanda claimed control of Goma in eastern DRC yesterday, walking through the frontier city of a million people past UN peacekeepers who did nothing to stop them.
Fighters from the M23 group entered Goma after days of clashes with UN-backed Congolese soldiers that forced tens of thousands of residents to flee. A senior UN source said international peacekeepers had given up defending the city after the Congolese troops left.
The rebellion has aggravated tensions between the DRC and its neighbour Rwanda, which the Kinshasa government says is orchestrating the insurgency as a means of grabbing the chaotic region’s mineral wealth. Rwanda denies this claim.
A witness saw the heavily armed rebels walking through the streets of Goma, past UN armoured vehicles and peacekeepers in blue berets, who looked on. – Reuters